Whole Number 174
[Editor's Note: The task of assembling photographs for an article in the SPARKS Quarterly is a slow process, to which anyone who has tried can testify. Old photographs are rare, and their owners are often reluctant to loan them for re-production. For this reason, some photographs that we have received have not yet been shared with our readers simply because they did not reach us in time to be published with the article to which they relate. Such is the case of the photograph of the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church located on Clear Creek near McKenzie, Tennessee, in Carroll County. We received the photo graph after a description of the church was published on pp.4552-4553 of the December 1995 issue of the Quarterly. In spite of this tardiness, however, we believe our readers will be interested in the picture of the church, as well as photographs df some of the worshipers named Sparks. For further informa tion, see the issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 172, referred to above.]
Shiloh is a Biblical name meaning "a place of peace and rest" and is found several times in the Bible. The name was given originally to a "Preaching place" in Carroll County some time between 1800 and 1820 during the "great revival years." It was not until ca. 1824, however, that the Shiloh Church was constituted under the care of the Hopewell Presbytery of the Cumberland Preabyterian Church. Its site was on Clear Creek at the crest of a "rise in the gentle sloping terrain amid a grove of spreading trees." Isaac Sparks was one of the more than one hundred original signers. Three other men named Sparks have served as elders of the church during Its 170 plus years of existence. They were: Lonnie Thomas Sparks, Moses Thompson Sparks, and Samuel Tyson Sparks.
[Editor's Note: The description of the Shilbh Cumberland Church has come from two sources: History of the Shiloh CumberlandPresbyterianChurchand the August 1976 issue of The MissionaryMessenger.]
William Matthew Sparks, whose photograph appears on the following page, was a son of Isaac and Orpha (Thompson) Sparks. He was born 1 April 1833, and died on December 29, 1889. The second photograph on the following page is that of his and his wife, Sarah A. ["Sally"] (Swearingen) Sparks's four children who lived to adulthood. (See pp.4556-4557of the Quarterly cited above.)]